The Campaign Spot

Under P.J., Foggy Bottom’s Messaging Became a Family Circus

Between Japan and Libya, there’s plenty of grim news in the Morning Jolt this Monday. But we can always take out our frustrations on P.J. Crowley:

Crowley, Eating Crow

I was setting up my brackets… you know, making my picks among the 64 Obama administration officials most likely to suddenly resign in scandal… and already my entire chance of winning the office pool is blown because a 16 seed, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, beat a whole bunch of much higher-seeded officials – DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Attorney General Eric Holder, DNI James Clapper.

CNN: “P.J. Crowley abruptly resigned Sunday as State Department spokesman over controversial comments he made about the Bradley Manning case. Sources close to the matter said the resignation, first reported by CNN, came under pressure from the White House, where officials were furious about his suggestion that the Obama administration is mistreating Manning, the Army private who is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, Virginia, under suspicion that he leaked highly classified State Department cables to the website WikiLeaks. Speaking to a small group at MIT last week, Crowley was asked about allegations that Manning is being tortured and kicked up a firestorm by answering that what is being done to Manning by Defense Department officials ‘is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.’”

At Foreign Policy, they spotlight another little-noticed gaffe by this alleged communications professional whose salary is paid for by taxpayers that leaves you shaking your head: “State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley is already the subject of one controversy today due to remarks he made about the treatment of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning. But Crowley is also in trouble due to a tweet he sent out this morning — and later deleted — comparing the situation in the Middle East to the disaster in Japan.”We’ve been watching hopeful #tsunami sweep across #MiddleEast. Now seeing a tsunami of a different kind sweep across Japan,” Crowley tweeted Friday morning, a State Department official confirmed to The Cable. Crowley’s Twitter site no longer includes the tweet, suggesting that he deleted it after the fact. Crowley didn’t immediately respond to a request from The Cable.”

Hey, Crowley’s already got what it takes to run advertising for Kenneth Cole!

(In case you didn’t get that joke:  At the height of the Tahrir Square protests, Kenneth Cole declared on their Twitter feed: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at -KC”.)

At Powerline, John Hinderacker wonders how this guy lasted in this position so long: “Reflexive leftism is pretty common at State, and I suppose this was a classic gaffe, i.e., Crowley said what he actually believed. Still, it is hard to understand how Crowley could have thought it would be OK to slam the Defense Department. Isn’t the State Department supposed to be all about diplomacy? Isn’t it a bit weird that they can’t come up with a spokesman who is diplomatic enough not to insult the guys on his own side?”

“Normally not that big of a deal but this guy is a real tool, even by the low standards one generally has for professional mouthpieces and people who work at the State Department,” writes DrewM at Ace of Spades. He recalls Crowley characterizing Iran’s crackdown on protesters during the Green Revolution a “debate” and concludes, “Not that the next mouthpiece will be better or the policy they will be spinning for will be any more coherent but I’m happy to see this guy go.”

ADDENDA: Any economists out there figure out if this is one of the least-productive weeks of the year? I figure today is Bracket Monday, followed by Changing Your Bracket Tuesday, followed by No, Really, This Is My Final Bracket Wednesday, followed by Wait, I Have Until Noon to Get It In Thursday, followed by I Can’t Believe I Got So Many Wrong Already Friday.

Fishersville Mike hopes the president takes a pass on filling out his bracket this year.


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